Interview with the Al-Aid family, October 2016
Couvin, Namur, Belgium.
This survey aims to recompile your opinion on the immigration process and evaluate your stay in Europe.
First and last name
Kiffah Kahalil Medhi Al-Aid.
34 years old
Language (s) spoken
Occupation (before leaving the country of origin)
Accountant for Iraqi judicial authorities.
How long have you been away from the country of origin?
One year and four months
Why did you decide to leave the country of origin?
Because of repeated threats against my life and my family’s.
Under what conditions did you cross the country and by what means? (Transport, asylum …)
I left my country from Baghdad to Erbil by plane, from Erbil to Turkey by car, in order to protect myself and protect my family from death, at the hands of people who do not recognize our humanity.
How many countries did you cross before reaching your final destination?
Turkey – Greece – Macedonia – Serbia – Hungary – Austria – Germany and finally Belgium
Were you well received in these countries? No? Why? Is there a country that you consider, does not welcome immigrants?
I had no kind welcome, or benevolence on behalf of these countries, despite the deterioration of my physical condition (which I suffered because of the dangerous journey).
We are a family with three children. My youngest child, under five years old, was in a deplorable state.
Hungary was the worst country for me, they do not recognize any human rights: voluntary blows and injuries (beatings, hits) to my person and my children. I will not be able to forget that country for the rest of my life.
How could you describe the situation in your country of origin for someone who does not know the current situation?
Iraq no longer represents my country, where I learned the sciences, knowledge and where I got a degree in accounting. There, I could no longer protect myself or protect my family. I am physically and mentally exhausted by the deplorable living conditions of my country.
Can you describe the difficulties of the process of adaptation to a new country? For you and the children.
We encountered some difficulties at the beginning of our arrival in Belgium especially in relation to the language barrier. My children have suffered from this deficiency, but it is improving day by day.
Have you found now a sense of peace and security?
Yes, I definitely feel at peace, except for the fact that I still do not know what my future will be or what awaits me in the future.
I live in the permanent tension of not knowing whether we are accepted in Belgium or not.
How would you rate the effectiveness of Belgian public services? (Medical care, education, etc.)?
Belgium is a noble country: the people are nice, welcoming. My hospitalization has allowed me to frequent very compassionate people. Words cannot describe the generosity and help of the Belgian authorities. I am eternally grateful for their compassion.
How were you received in Belgium? Do you plan to reside here any longer? How much?
We received a very friendly treatment, but I still ignore the duration of my stay. I want to settle permanently in Belgium, because I have suffered much from travel and immigration.
No, we have not received proposals for a job. I would like to, in order to meet the needs of my family.
How do you rate the process of learning French for children?
Very, very good.
Were there any social context problems for them in school?
At first, when we arrived in Belgium, it was very difficult, but progressively, we have become accustomed.
How were the political changes that have been present in the last decade because of the fall of the Hussein regime?
Iraq has had very difficult years. Unfortunately, we cannot do much to save our country from this terrible catastrophe.
What is your perspective on the society that welcomes you at this time?
It is a modern, highly advanced and successful society. I would like to settle in this country and have my children grow up in peace and security.